Many of Cohen's songs are inspired by music heard in churches, synagogues and mosques. He explained in the April 1993 issue of Song Talk: "There's a line in 'The Future': 'When they said repent I wonder what they meant.' I understand that they forgot how to build the arch for several hundred years. Masons forgot how to do certain kinds of arches, it was lost. So it is in our time that certain spiritual mechanisms that were very useful have been abandoned and forgotten. Redemption, repentance, resurrection. All those ideas are thrown out with the bathwater. People became suspicious of religion plus all these redemptive mechanisms that are very useful."
This was prominently used on the soundtrack for Oliver Stone's 1994 film Natural Born Killers along with two other Leonard Cohen songs "Waiting for the Miracle" and "Anthem."